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Cumberland Atelier

Training your Eyes, Mind and Hands



1978 Wilson Pike, 633 Middleton St., Nashville, TN, United States

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The aim of the Cumberland Atelier is to provide consistent, personalized instruction to the individual student in the context of the classical tradition, so that he or she may translate that training fluently into his or her own work. 

We at The Cumberland Atelier believe that creativity is supported by knowledge; that  on a foundation of understanding, artists can spread their wings and fly. Our goal is to provide that foundation of the requisite skills in drawing and painting, both conceptually and practically. We work with talented people of all ages, nurturing and instructing them in the basics such as anatomy, color theory, proportion, perspective and composition. 

The course of an artist’s training is long, if not infinite, and as much as it requires determination on behalf of the student, it also requires attentive guidance on behalf of the teacher. The duty of the teacher within the atelier, therefore, is to find the ever-moving point of contact between the student’s individual needs and the overarching principles of the craft of painting. As such, the atelier must be an intimate environment, where there can exist a clear, sustained dialogue between student and teacher. The Cumberland Atelier will aim to uphold this type of learning environment through offering ongoing classes with a limited student capacity. The courses that are held throughout the year are designed to build on themselves, so as to provide a continuity between their various lessons, and furnish the student with the appropriate skills.

Founded 2003
Course languages English
Accreditation Robert Douglas Hunter, Boston School Atelier, ARC
Part-Time Instructors 3
Full-Time Instructors 1
Students 34
Accommodation No

Part time: EUR 200 / month

Full time: USD 2000 / semester

Cumberland Atelier

1978 Wilson Pike

Franklin, Tennessee, United States

Gayle Levée

Senior Artist and Founder

Gayle Levée is a third-generation artist whose classical training began during childhood.Her parents were both artists, as was her grandfather. Levée majored in painting at the University of Denver. While still in school, she supported herself on sales of her art in galleries in Taos, Santa Fe and Estes Park. In her early twenties, she moved East.

In New England, Gayle joined the Copley Society and studied under Robert Douglas Hunter. Her new work was quickly recognized by galleries in Boston, on Cape Cod, in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and the Central South. Collectors from coast to coast have bought her work, which has won awards throughout the United States.  

Levée's workshops in the Boston School of painting have been featured in American Artist magazine and Fine Art Connoisseur. Recently her work was featured in American Art Review, along with that of her mentor, Robert Douglas Hunter. 

Levée conducts an atelier program  in Nashville and Franklin. She has also produced, through Legacy Learning Systems, a digital instructional set of ten dvds and a full color book. Through this effort, Levée has taught students worldwide. 

Her work is currently available through Bayview Galleries Maine, Powers Gallery  Acton Mass., Bryan Memorial Gallery Vermont, Richland Gallery Nashville, and the Boston Design Center, Boston.

Richard Greathouse


Nashville native, Richard Greathouse, until recently resided and painted in Italy. He has been teaching at the Florence Academy of Art, from which he graduated in 2011. In the summer of 2019 he returned to Nashville to become a part of the Cumberland Atelier. Although he is classically trained in the manner of the old masters, Richard seeks to extend these traditions into a contemporary context. His technical strength in drawing along with a deep understanding of human anatomy are evidenced in the naturalistic works he creates on canvas and paper. As he moves forward in his career, he continues to develop his philosophy of seeing and further hone his craft, while receiving international recognition for the artistic merit of his work.

Marty Welsh


Marty Welsh completed her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Dallas in 2013, after which she chose to continue her studies in painting and anatomy at the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. Upon graduating from the three year painting program in 2017 she was offered a teaching position at the Florence Academy of Art. She continued to teach there as co-director of the écorché program, in addition to working in her own studio, before relocating to Nashville Tennessee where she is a part of the Cumberland Atelier. She has taught private lessons and workshops in both Italy and the US.

Inspiration by Gayle Levée

Raku by Gayle Levée

Sweet Water by Gayle Levée

Lunette by Gayle Levée

Distant Thunder by Gayle Levée

A Garden of Old Fashioned Roses by Gayle Levée

Camilla by Richard Greathouse

William by Richard Greathouse

Winter Branch by Richard Greathouse

By Marty Welsh

By Marty Welsh

By Marty Welsh


Still Life

Planes Study


Completed glazing project

Spring Landscape

Student Artwork

Student Artwork

Student Artwork

Student Artwork

Student Artwork

Cast Study at Plaza, 633 Middleton St. Nashville TN

Painting in Natural Light at On-Track Studio, 1978 Wilson Pike, Franklin TN

10 September 2020 to 13 September 2020

Paint Colorado Workshop Outdoor Painting with Gayle Levee

601 Prospect St, Lyons, CO

1475 USD

Three days exploring artistic excellence with Gayle Levee in the Colorado Rockies, 4 nights at the stunning Villa Del Sol

Note: the dates are approximate at this time. Please check back!

Gayle Levée is a third-generation artist whose classical training began during childhood. She is a long time, passionate teacher based in the Nashville TN area but has a long history of painting the west!
This workshop will expand your skill set in measurable ways whether you are new to painting or a seasoned artist.
The majority of this workshop will be in plein air, weather permitting. Find out More


29 April 2020 to 24 June 2020

Drawing the Portrait in Charcoal

1978 Wilson Pike, Franklin, TN

400 USD

Times: 6:00pm-9:00pm

Cost: $400 for eight evenings

Class size limited to eight

Description: In this class we will work with a model from life to understand the necessary components of a successful portrait. Through the medium of charcoal we’ll explore values, anatomy, and drawing techniques. Students will learn a method working from simple to complex with the goal of capturing the model’s likeness in a realistic portrait.

To register, contact

02 July 2020 to 20 August 2020

Impressionist Form and Florals An Interactive Online Class

200 USD

Beginning with simple shapes, you will learn about the process of painting which was developed by the great American Impressionists of the Boston School. You will create accurate depictions of your subject with a focus on structure, color, light and air, and composition.

July 2 - August 20; 12:30 to 3:30 pm. To register, click here

24 June 2020 to 12 August 2020

The Human Figure Concepts in Drawing and Anatomy

1978 Wilson Pike, Franklin, TN

800 USD

Throughout this class, we will take a tour of the human figure, focusing on areas of the body one at a time, exploring traditional concepts related to anatomy, observation, and techniques in charcoal. The goal at the end will be to understand how the constituent parts of the human figure add up to a unified structural whole.

07 May 2020 to 25 June 2020

Online Landscape Painting

80 USD

This is an online landscape painting class, designed in much the same way as our classroom sessions. I will demonstrate for you, with emphasis on composition, technique and color. You will paint along with me, and I will pause my demo to check your work. I’ve been doing this with a small group for three weeks, and it works - people are having fun!

Class begins at 10:00 am on May 7. We will use Zoom; if you are unfamiliar with Zoom, come early and I’ll help you get set up.

06 May 2020 to 10 June 2020

Online Portrait Atelier

40 USD

May 6-June 10, 10 am to 3 pm

In this class we will go through the process of building a portrait first in charcoal, then in paint. We will focus on structure and anatomy while in the drawing stage, and then once we begin painting, we will use a grisaille palette (white, brown, and black) to further explore using naturalistic values in paint without worrying about color. Though the class will have an online format, Richard will work from the same reference alongside the students, walking them through the whole process.

To register, contact

04 June 2020 to 25 June 2020

Introduction to Artistic Anatomy An Interactive Online Class

400 USD

Introduction to Artistic Anatomy$200 for four weeks

Instructor: Marty Welsh

Location: This is an online class

Dates: TBA due to COVID-19

Time: 10am - 2:30pm

Learn foundational human anatomy through sculpture. In this class we will sculpt the major masses of the human form over four weeks. Materials provided.

For questions or to register, contact Marty at

02 July 2020 to 20 August 2020

Impressionist Form and Florals An Interactive Online Class

200 USD

This is an online Zoom class

1:00 to 4:00 pm

July 2 - August 20

$200 for eight weeks

Beginning with simple shapes, you will learn about the process of painting which was developed by the great American Impressionists of the Boston School. You will create accurate depictions of your subject with a focus on massing, light and air, and composition.